Hey guys! Thought I might try my hand at a LoK fic!

This first chapter is a scene from the mini-series Republic City Hustle, though it's been altered at the end. AU story where Mako never quits the Triads, but Bolin does, thus separating them in their pre-teens. And what happens when he meets Avatar Korra on her first day in town? This story will also still involve the Equalist Movement, but I'll either add some stuff or put a different spin on it.

Review and favorite, please and thank you! :)

Disclaimer: I don't own LoK, though gosh I wish I did.


"Let's go boys, we're gonna talk about this when we get back to the hideout."

Mako and Bolin met eyes, both registering the icy threat laced into Shady Shin's voice. They moved to make their way forward, back to their lives as criminals, when two tan arms stopped them in their tracks.

"Wait." Bolin and Mako looked up at Toza, startled. "You guys have got some real bending skills!" Mako's eyes widened and Bolin's jaw dropped. "With a little training I think you could go pro!"

Mako's mind went into overdrive as he considered just what Toza was suggesting. Become a probender? Mako had always dreamt of using his firebending for things other than self defense, but he'd never imagined an opportunity like this would pop up.

"I could teach you everything I know," Toza added, smiling down at the boys. Bolin looked ecstatic, and Mako couldn't remember the last time he'd seen Bo so happy. Thinking about the future was tough for the two brothers; usually they just tried to survive each day in one piece. Now Toza was laying out this amazing future in front of them. Even Mako couldn't hide his joy; he was grinning from ear to ear, his normal scowl gone.

Everything's going to be okay now, Mako thought, finally relaxing for the first time in years. We're going to be okay.

"Heh heh heh…"

Mako's grin instantly disappeared, and he glanced over at Shady Shin and Lightning Bolt Zolt. He'd almost forgotten his bosses were still in the room.

"Sorry bum, but at least one of these kids is too smart to end up like you. Right, Mako?"

Mako shuddered as Shady Shin's underlying threat registered. You're not stupid enough to leave now, right? You know what I could do to you boys, don't you? Shady Shin had no intention of letting the brothers off so easily. If they left with Toza… they're safety wasn't guaranteed.

Bolin.

Mako looked over at his brother, who was still wearing that silly grin on his face. He was blissfully unaware of how deep the two of them were in with the Triads.

Toza seemed to notice Mako's hesitation, and put a reassuring arm in front of the firebender. "I could find you a place to stay right here in the arena! Who knows? You could be champs!" Bolin jumped slightly at the thought of that, his hands clasped together longingly. Even Pabu squeaked his approval. "At least it's a chance at an honest living."

Bolin was on his brother in a heartbeat. "Can we Mako? Can we Mako, please?" Mako inwardly groaned, realizing just how badly Bo wanted this. Heck, Mako wanted it too. But…

Shady Shin flashed Mako a quiet glare, reminding him just what could happen if they accepted Toza's proposal. "Don't go soft on me, Mako," he said, his voice low. "Remember, it's up to you to take care of your little brother."

Mako's stomach turned too led.

Shady Shin wasn't just putting that out there as a fact… it was a threat. One bad decision, and Bolin would be a target.

Mako loved Bo too much let that happen. He was all he had left after all. No one would lay a hand on him if Mako had anything to do with it.

"Use your head," Shady Shin drawled, a smug grin on his lips. "Make the right play."

Mako knew what the right play was. It was the right play for Bolin.

"Can I speak with you for a second, Shady?" Mako asked, his eyes downcast.

Shady Shin laughed slightly. "Sure, my boy. Right this way."

Mako shuffled over to his boss, avoiding what he knew was his brother's devastated face.

Once Mako and Shady Shin were out of earshot, the firebender glared up him, snarling slightly. "I know what you're planning, and I won't let it happen."

"Oh? What am I planning, exactly?" Shady Shin asked, feigning mock innocence. "I'm just concerned for the two of ya. Wouldn't want Bolin getting in a probending accident, now would you? I heard it can be a very dangerous sport, after all."

Mako had never wanted to harm anyone in his entire life… until now. He felt the heat itching up his fingers. It would be so easy. One snap of his wrist, and Shady Shin would get a face full of flames.

"What's wrong? A cat owl got your tongue, little boy?"

Mako took a deep breath, and slowly felt the heat cool from his hands. He looked up at Shady Shin and slumped his shoulders slightly in defeat. "I'll come back to the hideout…" Mako whispered.

Shady grinned. "Good, very good."

"On one condition." The waterbender raised an eyebrow. "Bolin get's to go with Toza. And you don't lay a hand on him, got it?"

Shady Shin whistled. "That's pretty bold of you." Mako scowled. "Sure, I guess I can leave the little rascal alone. But remember, you'll be working with us. I don't wanna see you near the probending arena after this, understand?"

Mako went completely cold. Shady Shin was making his intentions clear. Any contact with your brother, and the deals off.

Bo would hate him.

But he'd be safe, and he'd have a home. That's all that mattered.

Mako stuck out his hand quickly. "Deal," he whispered. They shook hands. Mako felt sick.

"Alright, we'll be making our leave," Shady Shin announced, ambling back over to the group. "So long, you two." Shady Shin started to usher Mako along with him and Lightning Zolt Bolt, but a soft voice stopped him in his tracks.

"Mako?"

Sighing, Mako turned to face his brother across the room. Bolin looked utterly confused, and more than hurt. His eyes were accusing. What do you think you're doing? They asked. You're my brother. You can't leave.

Mako had so much he wanted to say, from screaming 'I'm sorry!' to telling his brother that he loved him more than anything in the world. But with Shady Shin's hand on Mako's back, all the firebender could think to say was…

"Have a good life, bro."

With that, they were gone. But Mako knew he had broken a part of Bolin that could never be fixed.